If you follow me on Instagram (@beltsbeergarden), you might recall that I have Iowa as one of the most under-rated states when it comes to beer. The Hawkeye State produces some amazing brews but they can be harder to find.
One of those breweries that you won’t see much of outside of Iowa but always seems to have amazing beer is Des Moines’ Lua Brewing. And, with a motto of “Quality Overall”, it makes sense that each and every beer from them would be great. Opening rather recently, only back in 2019, they have quickly become a must-visit place. But it’s not just beer that they excel at…they also have one of the best restaurants in Des Moines, with their chef coming from a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Bay Area.
Today I have one of their lighter hoppy brews - Echolalia, a Pale Ale brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops. The brew clocks in with a decent 6.2% ABV and was released on October 3rd.
This West Coast Pale Ale poured a clear copper color with about a finger and a half of eggshell white head that slowly faded down to a thin ring around the glass. Some solid lacing was left behind but the lacing faded some as the beer was consumed.
The aroma was a beautiful blend of hoppy qualities. There were some dank piney notes, some bright citrus smells, and even a few floral characteristics. A caramel malt sweetness backed up the beer and made this an very approachable IPA. I couldn’t wait to dive into it.
My first sip began with a nice fizzle of carbonation that readied my taste buds. From there, the beer was an amazing blend of all those flavors appearing in the smell and yet, it was SUPER subtle and very, very, very light.
Up front there is a nice pop of slightly tart lemon and peach. However, the citrus doesn’t stick around long, as it is soon overtaken by a mixture of malty flavors. Some caramel and honey from the malts calm that lighter sourness from the lemon and add a nice sweetness to the beer.
Around the midway point, the hops take over for good. There is a light bitter twinge, nothing too much but just enough to make you notice them. A piney resinous flavor also appears that ends up finishing off the sip.
Echolalia ends rather cleanly, with just the tiniest amount of sticky resin lingering around for a moment or two after each sip. But this is an insanely light and crushable beer.
I wanted to savor my pint but…it was just so good that I ended up drinking it all within a few minutes. If you like balanced Pale Ales (and who doesn’t?!), this one is near perfect.